Celebrate Healthcare holds vaccination and testing event, runs out of tests due to overwhelming demand


HAMPTON, Va. (WAVY) — Testing troubles were seen in Hampton as people waited in line for hours to get a COVID-19 test and some were turned away after the site ran out.

“I thought it was going to be about an hour, but no. No, no, no, the line did not even budge at all,” said Anthony Kabia, who was waiting for a test.

There was an overwhelming demand for rapid COVID-19 testing at a Celebrate Healthcare event at the Boo Williams Sportsplex in Hampton on Friday.

“Everywhere else was sold out of the tests,” said Kyle Edmonds. “I went to Walgreens, I went to my doctor’s, no one had the test.”

People waited, no matter the time or temperature, to get a result.

“It’s worth the line to find out because I would hate to have it and go somewhere and give it to somebody else,” said Penelope Foster.

The group Celebrate Healthcare has been hosting vaccination and testing events throughout the pandemic, trying to remove barriers to healthcare. On Friday, they ran out of tests.

“Look at the long lines. This is what health disparities look like,” said Celebrate Healthcare President Gaylene Kanoyton. “You know, our governor needs to call a state of emergency for more testing sites. We need at-home kits and we needed, these are the folks that need the at-home kits. They shouldn’t be standing in line like they’re in the super line.”

Kanoyton said the situation was heartbreaking.

“We should have an abundance of at-home tests and passing them out,” said Kanoyton. “We should have testing places all over the place.”

For the folks who did receive a test, they are grateful for their peace of mind.

“It’s better to be safe than sorry. come out and get tested,” said Foster.

On Thursday, the Virginia College of Emergency Physicians issued a statement, asking the governor to declare a state of emergency and asking health officials to open more testing sites.

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